BLOOMINGTON – If Remy Abell is taking a shot, it’s going in.
The sophomore guard hasn’t missed from the floor this season.
He scored a career-high 14 points Monday, helping No. 1 Indiana to an 87-61 victory against North Dakota State in front of 17,145 fans at Assembly Hall.
Abell went 5 for 5 from the floor. He made three three-pointers. He is 7 for 7 from the field this season.
That would be great if I did that, Abell said when he was asked if the goal was to not miss a jump shot this season. I’m just shooting with confidence and trying to help my team win.
Sophomore forward Cody Zeller led all scorers with 22 points. He added nine rebounds in the Bloomington Regional of the Legends Classic contest.
Freshman forward Jeremy Hollowell and senior guard Jordan Hulls also reached double figures in scoring for IU (2-0). Hollowell finished with a career-high 14 points.
I’m getting a feel for the game and getting more comfortable, Hollowell said.
Hulls made three three-pointers and scored 11 points. Junior forward Will Sheehey had nine points.
Abell, Hollowell and Sheehey were part of a bench that scored 37 points.
I don’t look at very many of these guys like they are bench players, IU coach Tom Crean said. I look at it right now like we’ve got at least seven guys that can start with room to grow in that area.
Abell provided the lift early. His previous high was 13 points at Purdue on Feb. 5.
Was he perfect from the field? That’s because his defense was going, Crean said. He got some tough assignments tonight and it carried right over to his offense.
Abell averaged three points last season. He has reached double figures in scoring in both games this year. He had 12 Friday against Bryant.
It’s hard work from the offseason, my teammates pushing me, my coaches pushing me, Abell said. I’m just here to play my role, do my job. When my name is called off the bench, I need to step in and be ready to play and make an impact on offense and defense.
Abell is 5 for 5 shooting three-pointers.
I know I could get to the rim, but my teammates and coaches have really helped me work on my jump shot, Abell said.
IU led the entire game. The Hoosiers used a 10-2 run to build a 34-20 lead with 4:06 to go in the first half. Abell made a three-pointer during the stretch.
The Bison (1-1) got within 44-35 early in the second half.
Indiana responded with a 12-3 run. Abell contributed the final three points in the spurt as Indiana took a 56-38 lead.
IU had 25 points off of 16 North Dakota State turnovers on the way to the win.
There’s conventional, there’s unconventional and then there’s what we did tonight, Crean said. We just played. It didn’t become about matchups as much as putting guys out there and saying let’s go.
Note: Indiana marked the 65th anniversary of the first men’s basketball game involving an African-American player in the Big Ten with a ceremony honoring Bill Garrett at halftime. Garrett led Indiana in scoring and rebounding each year from 1949 to 1951. He was named an All-American in 1951.